Acorn Collection Underway

August 17, 2020

Blue oaks (Quercus douglasii) are producing acorns now, so last week a Benicia Tree Foundation volunteer collected acorns from blue oaks growing on the property of another volunteer who lives in the hills behind Benicia.  The Foundation will use these acorns for planting in the Lake Herman Open Space this fall. 

The procedure for growing oaks from acorns is fairly straightforward.  Click here for an article by the Pacific Horticulture Society on how to grow an oak tree from an acorn.  Below are some photos taken in the Benicia hills and at the native plant nursery in Vallejo operated by the local chapter of the California Native Plant Society.

Next week volunteers will be picking acorns from Coast Live oaks (Quercus agrifolia) and Valley oaks (Q. lobata) which are also found in the area.

2020 acorn collection

Bag of blue oak acorns collected in the hills behind Benicia.

 

2020 acorn collection

A view of Mount Diablo from the hills behind Benicia where the acorns were  collected.

 

2020 acorn collection

Benicia Tree Foundation volunteer, Steve Morgan, is removing the caps from the acorns and discarding those with holes and cracks at the native plant nursery in Vallejo operated by the Willis Linn Jepson Chapter of the California Native Plant Society.

 

2020 acorn collection

After the acorns soak in a 1% bleach solution for a minute, the are laid out on trays to dry, then they are put in gallon baggies with a scoop of perlite to aborb any remaining moisture, and refrigerated until planting season arrives - around Thanksgiving.

 

2020 acorn collection

In about 100 to 150 years, a planted acorn will produce a blue oak of this size.